Description: Challenge to determination not to list distinct population segment of Arctic grayling as endangered or threatened.
Center for Biological Diversity v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 08/17/2018 Opinion Download Opinion issued affirming in part and reversing in part the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ninth Circuit Said Aspects of Decision Not to List Arctic Grayling Population Under the Endangered Species Act Were Arbitrary and Capricious. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in certain respects when it determined not to list the Upper Missouri River Valley distinct population segment of arctic grayling as endangered or threatened. The arctic grayling prefers cooler waters and is threatened by climate change. While the Ninth Circuit held that the FWS did not err in considering only the current range of the arctic grayling when determining whether it was in danger of extinction “in all or a significant portion of its range,” the Ninth Circuit found that the FWS acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it (1) ignored available data that a population of arctic grayling was declining; (2) arbitrarily relied on the ability of the arctic grayling to migrate to cold water refugia; and (3) failed to explain why the uncertainty of climate change favored not listing. The Ninth Circuit remanded to the FWS for reassessment of its findings. 03/08/2017 Brief Download Amicus brief submitted in support of plaintiffs-appellants by law professors and scientists.
Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/02/2016 Memorandum Opinion and Order Download Memorandum opinion and order issued upholding agency decision. Federal Court Said Fish and Wildlife Service Adequately Considered Climate Change in Determination Not to List Arctic Grayling Distinct Population Segment as Endangered. The federal district court for the District of Montana upheld an FWS determination not to list the Upper Missouri River distinct population segment of Arctic grayling as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Arctic grayling is a freshwater fish only found in two locations in the conterminous United States, the upper Missouri River system above the Great Falls in Montana and in northwest Wyoming within Yellowstone National Park. The court rejected the plaintiffs’ assertion that the analysis of climate change impacts had been inadequate and arbitrary, finding that FWS had reasonably concluded that the species would likely survive and adapt to a warming climate. 02/05/2015 Complaint Download Complaint filed.